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State v. Nora

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

May 27, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
KARRELL A. NORA

APPEAL FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH, NO. 506-478, SECTION " H" . Honorable Camille Buras, Judge.

Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., District Attorney, Matthew C. Kirkham, Assistant District Attorney, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE/ STATE OF LOUISIANA.

Kevin V. Boshea, KEVIN V. BOSHEA, ATTORNEY AT LAW, Metairie, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT.

(Court composed of Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Max N. Tobias, Jr., Judge Rosemary Ledet).

OPINION

Page 1031

[2014-1377 La.App. 4 Cir. 1] Terri F. Love, J.

The present appeal comes before us following this Court previously affirming the defendant Karrell Nora's (" Mr. Nora" ) conviction but remanding the matter to the trial court for resentencing in State v. Nora, 13-0892 (La.App. 4 Cir. 6/18/14), 143 So.3d 1237. Mr. Nora now seeks appellate review raising three assignments of error including: (1) the denial of his motion for new trial because his trial should have been severed from that of his co-defendant Delbert Celestine (" Mr. Celestine" ); (2) the denial of his motion for mistrial based on the opening statements and the cross-examination of witnesses by Mr. Celestine's counsel; and (3) ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failing to allege sufficient grounds for the severance. We find Mr. Nora's first two assignments relating to his trial and conviction were previously addressed in his first appeal, and thus, are barred from reconsideration. La. C.Cr.P. art. 930.4. Additionally, Mr. Nora's ineffective assistance of counsel claim is without merit as this Court fully addressed the severance issue in his first appeal. In that the present appeal is limited to issues relating to his resentencing, Mr. Nora raises none, nor does the record evidence [2014-1377 La.App. 4 Cir. 2] any errors patent. Therefore, Mr. Nora's sentence, as imposed by the trial court on remand, is affirmed.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The State of Louisiana charged Karrell Nora, a/k/a Steven Patterson, in June 2011, with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, a violation of La. R.S. 14:95.1.[1] He subsequently pled not guilty at his arraignment. In September 2011, the trial court denied his motion to suppress the evidence and found probable cause to hold him for trial. The court denied the motion to sever Mr. Nora's trial from that of his co-defendant Mr. Celestine in January 2012. Following a two-day trial in February 2012, a jury found Mr. Nora guilty as charged.

Thereafter, he filed a motion for new trial and in arrest of judgment. The State filed a multiple bill, and in June 2012, the trial court sentenced Mr. Nora to twenty years at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. After Mr. Nora pled guilty to being a second offender, the trial court vacated the original sentence and sentenced him as a second offender to serve twenty-five years at hard labor, to run concurrently to the sentence he received in return for his guilty plea to armed robbery in case number 507-039. Although counsel indicated that Mr. Nora wished to appeal his conviction and sentence, counsel did not file a motion for appeal until March 2013, at which time the court [2014-1377 La.App. 4 Cir. 3] granted his motion. Counsel also withdrew, and the trial court appointed the Louisiana Appellate Project to represent Mr. Nora on appeal.

After the record was lodged, and after counsel filed an appellant brief on behalf of Mr. Nora, this Court remanded the case for a ruling on the outstanding motion for new trial and motion in arrest of judgment.

Page 1032

The trial court denied the motions in December 2013. There is no indication, however, that the parties were notified that the trial court ruled on the motion. Additionally, in response to Mr. Nora's pro se request, this Court forwarded the record and granted him time to file a brief; he later indicated that he declined to do so. This Court subsequently affirmed Mr. Nora's conviction, vacated his sentence because the trial court did not rule on his motion for new trial prior to imposing his sentence, and remanded the case for resentencing.

On remand, Mr. Nora re-urged all objections made by Mr. Nora's trial counsel, including the denial of the motion to sever defendants for trial. Additionally, he alleged that his trial counsel's failure to file a motion for mistrial due to statements by Mr. Celestine's defense counsel rendered Mr. Nora's representation at trial ineffective. The trial court again denied the motion for new trial that it previously denied in December 2013. Mr. Nora waived delays, and the trial court sentenced him to serve twenty-five years at hard labor as a second offender, without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. The trial court also suspended the fine. Counsel noted his objection to the denial of the motion for new trial and to the sentence. Subsequently, counsel filed a motion for [2014-1377 ...


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